Ashley R. Carlson’s story “The Friendly Ghost” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 July 2020.
The inspiration for my story about a deceased wife who “haunts” her husband and strives to help him discover fulfillment and happiness after her death came from a similar conversation in my own relationship.
My partner also worked far from home at the time, and in a field that had risks. While we didn’t talk often about something happening, the danger was there—and one day we discussed our expectations for one another if the other person died. Morbid, I know, but I’ve always been a bit of a “what if-fer”. (Is that a word? I’m going with it.)
This got me thinking about what it would be like to die and watch your spouse move on with their life—to actively participate in it, even, because you love them so much that you want them to fully experience all that life has to offer, even when you’re not a part of it.
From there it was just a few days for a first draft, then a couple rounds of revising, sending the story out for beta feedback, more revising based on that feedback, submissions followed by another three rounds of revising, and the finished accepted piece! (The journey of a story from conception to completion requires so many more evolutions and versions than I first expect—and is 10,000 times better for it in the end.)
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